Classification Position Reviews and Desk Audits


Effective Date: Expiration Date: Chapters:
June 17, 2021 When Superseded 11  


Official position descriptions must accurately reflect employees’ duties and responsibilities. When employees’ duties or responsibilities change, an agency or an employee may ask the D.C. Department of Human Resources (DCHR) to conduct a position review to determine whether the position description must be updated for classification and compensation purposes. This issuance provides general information for requesting position reviews and supplies a Position Review Request Form to submit requests.

Position Reviews and Desk Audits

DCHR’s classification specialists conduct “position reviews” and “desk audits” to obtain up-to-date information, including illustrative examples, about the duties and responsibilities of a position. For purposes of this guidance, a “position review” means a review of a position or a class of positions at an agency’s request. Position reviews may involve a vacant position, an occupied position, or both. A “desk audit” means a review of a specific employee’s position at the request of an agency or the individual employee.

Requesting Position Reviews and Desk Audits

Position Reviews

An agency may request a position review when:

  1. A position description is over three years old; or
  2. Significant changes have occurred in the duties and responsibilities of the position that may require reclassification.

To submit a request for a position review, agencies must:

  1. Complete a Position Review Request Form (DCSF-11A-05);
  2. Attach a signed memorandum from the agency director to DCHR’s director outlining the requested positions for review and the reasons for the request; and
  3. “Submit & Sign” the request form online.

Desk Audits

At any time, an agency supervisor, an employee, or both, may request a desk audit for a specific employee’s position when there is a significant discrepancy between the official position description and the actual duties and responsibilities performed by the employee.

Employees who wish to request a desk audit must follow these steps with their supervisor:

  1. Meet with the supervisor. Employees considering a desk audit should first meet with their supervisor to discuss problems and concerns associated with their duty assignment or position description. Supervisors should work with employees to clarify any misunderstandings regarding the position description and review the position description with the employee.
  2. Submit a request. If the supervisor believes the position should be reevaluated, the supervisor may request a review by submitting a completed Position Review Request Form. If the supervisor does not believe the position description should be reevaluated, the employee may initiate the review processes by submitting a completed Position Review Request Form to DCHR by visiting Employees must fully review their completed form before submission and include any supporting documentation. 

Review Process


Within 30 days of receiving a position review or desk audit request, DCHR schedules interviews with the appropriate employees and supervisors to determine whether a position requires reclassification. Through these interviews, DCHR obtains up-to-date information about the duties and responsibilities of a given position. These interviews may take place in-person, over the phone, or via video conference. During the interviews, employees may describe work assignments and supply examples of their work, and supervisors may discuss and clarify the assigned duties and responsibilities of the position.


DCHR evaluates the information gathered from the interviews using series classification standards to determine whether to reclassify the specific positions in terms of grade, position title, and occupational series, which may have salary implications. When DCHR completes its evaluation, it will supply its findings and final determination to the individuals who requested the position review or desk audit. DCHR’s classification decision results in one of the following determinations:

  1. No change. The grade of the position will remain the same. Even when an employee’s duties or the way they perform work may have changed, these changes do not affect the title, series, or grade-level of the position. There are situations in which the findings may result in a change in the position title or series, but the grade-level of the position remains the same. In such cases, the audit can conclude with a recommendation of a reclassification of the position description.
  2. Upgrade. The position will increase to a higher grade. Once a position has been reviewed and found to merit a higher grade, the agency has two options: (1) allow the upgrading of the position, or (2) remove the higher-level duties from the position to maintain the existing grade. Agencies cannot keep the status quo: either the position must be upgraded or the duties must be altered. If the agency agrees to upgrade the position, DCHR will reclassify the position in PeopleSoft through a personnel action to effectuate the grade increase as soon as possible.
  3. Downgrade. The position will be decreased to a lower grade. While possible, desk audits rarely result in downgrading an employee’s position. However, should this occur, the impacted employee will be notified at least ten days prior to implementing the new classification.


An employee may appeal their position classification to the Director of the D.C. Department of Human Resources at any time. However, to be entitled to any retroactive pay, an employee must file their appeal with the Director within 15 calendar days from the date DCHR implements the classification decision. The Director will issue a final decision within 30 days following DCHR’s receipt of the classification appeal.

If an employee disagrees with the Director’s final decision concerning their classification appeal, the employee may file a Petition for Review with the D.C. Superior Court within 30 days from the date the employee receives the Director’s final decision. Petitions must be filed with the court pursuant to D.C. Superior Court Agency Review Rules.


The provisions of this issuance apply to agencies under the personnel authority of the Mayor. Other personnel authorities may adopt any or all of these procedures and guidance for their respective employees.

Issued by Director Ventris C. Gibson, D.C. Department of Human Resources on June 21, 2021, 11:11 a.m.